Xbox One X review: A console that keeps up with gaming PCs

Call of Duty: World War II is launching with 4K and HDR, but I'm waiting on the game to unlock. What could I possibly compare it to? Six teraflops where the PS4 Pro has just over four. We don't know what these mystery prizes are going to be yet. The filters in the My Games & Apps section easily let you expose those that have been enhanced for One X or are awaiting patches, doing a much better job of showing this to players than the PlayStation 4 Pro does. There's nothing quite like it and it is without question an impressive piece of hardware. More to Come Right, so even though we've got a lot more Xbox One X testing coming up over the weekend and throughout next week you might be wondering if we'd recommend it as an upgrade over the Xbox One. Now that Microsoft and game publishers are offering most major titles on PC, you won't be missing out on much by ditching consoles. The Xbox One X also has the most flexible backwards compatibility features now on the current-gen market.

Not every Xbox One X enhanced game is going to have support for HDR.

When your Xbox One X is out of the box, just plug in that same external hard drive, and you're good to go.

Onto how the console looks. Meanwhile last year's release of ReCore will be upgraded with HDR support, but there's been no word of 4K. Perhaps this speaks to the quality of the components.

But back to games.

So what exactly is under the hood anyhow? Were this a fully paid up remaster, everyone would be delighted, but instead you're getting it for free if you've bothered to hoard your old games. When a game like Forza Motorsport 7 takes over a whopping 100GB hard drive space, the included 1TB HD space won't get it done for long. In fact, the Xbox One X runs only a few degrees warmer than the One S during 4K-enhanced gameplay: both the One S and One X averaged within 106 and 112 degrees fahrenheit, while the PS4 Pro stabilized around 124 degrees during our testing. That being said, the controller that is included is by no means a junker.

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Trust me, it's very nice.

So is 4K gaming as fantastic as advertised? It's not as automated, but it's the best way to ensure you're good to go. Native 4K prioritises resolution at the expense of performance, High Frame-Rate leaves the game at 1080p but gives you higher-resolution textures, and Enriched 4K appears to allow the resolution to scale to maintain a consistent performance level. The Xbox One X has a small, but solid stable of exclusive games and has excellent support from third-party developers.

As is always the case with complex systems, there are a few "gotchas" with One X. And even though the OS and loading games is faster than the original Xbox One, we would have loved to see some form of SSD Hybrid drive used. As such, I spent a great deal of time playing the game in 4K. Gears of War 4 is the one I've had the most time with and textures and visual quality were all excellent, albeit with fairly visible differences in frame rates for things like blood splatter and flames in the 4K 30FPS mode. The X opted to output in 1080p, much like the cafe owners chose to reply to my mangled questions using English. You can see nearly every pore on Marcus Fenix's face and the reflections from the puddles on the ground are incredibly life-like. The performance in loading times is very noticeable. There are two bars on the reload meter: a larger one that simply reloads faster than a single tap, and a narrower one that offers additional bullet damage for a portion of the reloaded magazine. There's also the dashboard, which - as mentioned above - has improved drastically since launch. When all of that is working together, Gears of War 4 on the One X is dramatically smoother, and a sharper, deeper visual experience than it is on the One S. And even without HDR or if you're hooked up to a 1080p display, it's an obvious upgrade thanks to those improved effects and supersampling, which shrinks a 4K image down to 1080 in order to smooth out visible jagged edges. Like the S, it's power supply is internal and when you pick it up the extra ballast at the back throws it off balance, so as much as any console can be it's ungainly to carry. That is incredibly frustrating!

This certainly makes it harder to work out if the X is worth your money right now especially since... The first thing we do notice is the speed, not of the cars but of the console! Will it have any other improvements to take advantage of the One X's graphical superpowers? I deliberately selected this level because of the Windflare storm, which makes the level even darker, while also simultaneously providing contrasting light sources, such as the lightning in the Windflare storm.

And just as that reality has opened the doors to games that can release in parts, or even unfinished, and to be continually evolving as live services, so to has the platforms themselves become as liquid. So I certainly understand why many will avoid dropping $499.00 United States dollars on a console that doesn't have a ton of exclusives. That looks a tad steep, especially considering you can now pick up an Xbox One S for as little as £190. If you want the most powerful home console now on the market capable of making games look as good as they possibly can (PC excluded of course), then you're going to need to pony up the $500 for the Xbox One X. You're looking at nine or so games before you fill up your console. The store also has a new 4k section showcasing the best of that genre of gaming and entertainment.

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